If You’re Willing

“If you’re willing.” This is how my neighbor, who assaulted me in September, began his email to me saying he is interested in doing snow removal for me this winter. Just the fact that he sent the email in the first place set my teeth on edge but the way he began it just pushed me over the edge. It made me think he was implying that I had caused the trouble between us and not his never-ending unwanted advances towards me. It’s been two months since I had any contact with him and this missive from him just showed how much he didn’t understand what he had done to me. The extra anxiety I’ve felt at night when everything is dark and my dog is barking as if he’s seen or heard something. The going over everything time and again to make sure I didn’t send any mixed signals to him. I didn’t; by the way, I was always set in my stance on not wanting anything romantic from him. I took a night to decide what to say in response and decided upon this opening sentence.

“What I’m not willing to do is allow the man who assaulted me back into my life in any capacity.”

I thought it was succinct and very to the point. I sent it and haven’t heard anything back, so maybe my neighbor has crawled back under his rock again. I hope this is the end of this nightmare but somehow I feel like that as long as we live across from each other, I will always have to stay on my toes.

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